Biodiversity Center Volunteers

christinarouse

Christina Rouse

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Spring 2015 – present: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Christina is a Trustee Scholar and a Sophomore Environmental Studies major at the University of Southern California. She is rescue and scientific diver certified; in her free time she is active in philanthropic work in Los Angeles.

jenniferpan

Jennifer Pan

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Spring 2015 – present: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Jennifer is a sophomore in Biomedical Engineering at USC. She is also a coffee addict and thinks museums are awesome. In her free time she likes to go running, try new restaurants in LA, and play video games.

sivakamiananthasingam

Sivakami Ananthasingam

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Neuroscience

Spring 2015 – present: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Hello everyone! My name is Sivi. I'm a junior studying Neuroscience/Pre-Med at USC. I hope to one day become a physician of emergency medicine. I have a passion for volleyball, global health, and reading. I have always had a fear of insects and feel that working on BioSCAN projects will help me conquer my fear and learn about a branch of science that I wouldn’t have normally been able to study in-depth.

jimcline

Jim Cline

2002 – present: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2003 – 2006: NSF Isopods volunteer

Jim's urge to be a wide-view visionary has resulted in three technical papers, numerous electronic documents, and two websites. He foresees a time when DNA from creatures living today may be used to create thriving ecosystems in huge space colonies orbiting the Earth, connected by space elevator technologies — perhaps only a few decades from now. Jim has not only volunteered for Invertebrate Paleontology making thin sections of fossil corals and for the MBC until 2004 helping with curation, but he has also been instrumental in databasing and preparing the online Isopod Image Database, work that is ongoing: Check it out.

2015

chenliang

Chen Liang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Chemical Engineering

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

My name is Chen and I am a freshman majoring in chemical engineering (struggling over the possible emphases in ChemE). I come from Beijing, China and I speak Mandarin. This is my first time studying abroad and I feel excited and overwhelmed at the same time. I have been doing Taekwondo for two years and currently I am a member of the USC Taekwondo club. I love to cook and bake. My favorite food is Korean food (can’t live without Kimchi) thus my favorite part of LA is Ktown. I am a dog person and I have two dogs back at home, a poodle which looks like a teddy bear and a Yorkshire terrier. I miss them a lot! I have never thought of working with insects but I believe I will learn a lot from this experience.

danielkim

Daniel Kim

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Neuroscience

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

rebeccafang

Rebecca Fang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Engineering

Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Rebecca is a sophomore studying Environmental Engineering at USC. Aside from exploring the great outdoors, she enjoys playing guitar, creative writing, and basketball. One day she hopes to work in the clean energy industry while learning as many languages as she can!

emmaross

Emma Ross

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies and Italian

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Emma is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies and Italian. After graduation, she plans on going to Brisbane, Australia to see where life takes her. Ever since she was 12, and began scuba diving, she knew she wanted to help the marine environment. She hopes to find a career in Coral and Coastal Management, focusing in outreach and ecotourism. Her favorite animal is the sperm whale (who on average can dive 4000 ft., how cool!). She enjoys listening to music, learning new languages, and really loves cheese!

soniaboller

Sonia Boller

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Environmental Studies

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Fall 2014 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sonia Boller is a senior majoring in Environmental Studies. Ever since she was little she has loved being outdoors and exploring the wonders of the natural world. In addition to her love of nature, she also enjoys reading, listening to music, and cooking vegan food. Her dream job involves traveling around the world taking photos that promote awareness and conservation of our natural resources.

benrefoua

Ben Refoua

Milken Community High School

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: BioSCAN volunteer

Summer 2014 – Spring 2015: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Benjamin is a junior at Milken Community High School. Ben has always loved bugs and science. Benjamin also likes to spend his time playing sports. Benjamin is a part of the Milken Community High School water polo and swim team. Benjamin also loves to travel and visit new places.

2014

christylee

Christy Lee

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Fall 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Christy is a freshman majoring in Biology at USC. She loves watching tv and reading and often procrastinates on all her work. Her favorite foods are all fruits except apples, which she finds pretty boring. Currently, her goal is to find good, cheap boba tea close to USC if she ever finds time to explore.

milofreedman

Milo Borsuk Freedman

Wildwood School

2013 – 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

2013 – 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

allarauota

Allara Uota

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Human Biology with minor in Web Technologies & Applications

Spring 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2014: BioSCAN research student

Allara enjoys swimming, surfing, wasting time on the internet, hand-lettering, and obsessing over Australian hip hop. At this point in time, she has no idea what she wants to do with her life after graduation, but she’s working on figuring that one out.

bronteyang

Bronte Yang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

tochukwumadu

Tochukwu Madu

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Psychology and Biology

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN volunteer

Tochi is a senior Psychology and Biology double major at USC from Cerritos, California. He is pre-med with hopes of becoming an endocrinologist. He is also currently working in the Mind in Development at USC due to his interest in early childhood development and social cognition. When he was a child he used to collect ladybugs and perform operations on fig beetles that got trapped in his pool. In his free time he enjoys playing basketball and watching National Geographic documentaries.

2013

jennifercamello

Jennifer Camello

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Anthropology

Spring 2014 – Summer 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Spring 2014 – Summer 2014: BioSCAN research student

Fall 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Fall 2013: BioSCAN volunteer

Jennifer is a junior majoring in Anthropology and hopes to one day become a pediatrician. She used to want to become a museum curator because she loves Ancient Greek artifacts and history, so maybe this position will sway her back to the museum life. She is fond of baking, global health, dark chocolate, tea, and traveling.

lindsayhafen

Lindsay Hafen

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biological Sciences

Summer 2013 – Fall 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2013 – Fall 2013: BioSCAN volunteer

Spring 2014 – Fall 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center research student

Spring 2014 – Fall 2014: BioSCAN research student

Lindsay is studying biological sciences at the University of Southern California. She enjoys traveling, reading, painting and, of course, biology! She isn’t sure what her future career will be, but she has been inspired by the Natural History Museum and thinks it will have something to do with biology. Her favorite insect currently are European honey bees.

brianloyd

Brian Loyd

University of California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Anthropology and History

2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

2013: BioSCAN volunteer

Brian is a graduate of UCLA, with a bachelors in Anthropology and History. Having been both an employee and volunteer in the Education and Exhibits Department at NHM, Brian is seeking to broaden his horizons by working behind the scenes with the BioSCAN Project. Brian’s passions include Indian Pale Ales and 16-bit video games.

estellahernandez

Estella Hernandez

Whittier College, Whittier, CA

Spring 2005 – Fall 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Estella enjoys camping and hiking. Her interest in the outdoors led her to the Natural History Museum. Estella has learned basic invertebrate taxonomy and identifies Puget Sound specimens under a dissecting microscope sorting them to phylum or class. She also assisted with the curation of the Fiji Collection — organizing specimens by lot number, printing and associating labels with specimens. And she loves bears!

markleblanc

Mark LeBlanc

California State University, Long Beach (M.S. 2014)

Spring 2012 – Spring 2013: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Mark is a grad student in biology at CSULA, and he currently plans to present his thesis on the taxonomy of a new species of Caribbean ostracod in summer 2012. Outside of ostracods, Mark’s other hobbies include medieval fantasy novels, dark synth-pop albums and aspirations of travel. After graduating he hopes to pursue a career studying the evolutionary relationships among crustacean taxa.

2012

brianshaw

Brian Shaw

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN intern

Summer 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center intern

Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: BioSCAN student

Spring 2013 – Spring 2014: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Summer 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Brian Shaw is a sophomore studying Biomedical Engineering at the University of Southern California. Ever since he could remember, he has had an affinity for all sciences including biology. In his spare time, he likes to listen to music — classical, rock, and electronica — on top of hanging out with friends. Other hobbies include reading comics, playing the piano, and surfing the web.

nicolechang

Nicole Chang

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Fall 2010 – Spring 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center student

Nicole is a freshman majoring in Biological Sciences. She loves international travel, shopping, cupcakes, chocolate, and dogs. She is very excited to work at the Natural History Museum.

sanaahmed

Sana Ahmed

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sana graduated from USC with a B.S. in Health Promotion and Disease Prevention Studies. She enjoys running, photography and reading. In addition to volunteering at the MBC, she works as an Emergency Medicine Scribe. She finds the MBC to be a nice change of pace from the ER.

jonathansepulveda

Jonathan Sepulveda

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Fall 2009 – 2011: NSF Decapoda volunteer

Fall 2011 – Spring 2012: NSF Decapoda intern

Fall 2009 – Spring 2012: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Jonathan is a sophmore studying Biomedical Engineering. When not up in the mountains shredding the slopes (the recent snow reminds him of home in Toronto, Canada), he is enjoying the California sun playing tennis or basketball. He loves working with animals (dead or alive!) and hopes to become a vet someday.

2011

heidicho

Heidi Cho

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Summer 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Heidi is a Biological Sciences major. She loves traveling with her family and dog, Disney movies, singing, playing piano, and museums. She enjoys walking around the empty exhibits of NHM before opening hours. At the Marine Biodiversity Center, she loves looking at a variety of organisms in the collections room and helping sort specimen. She's not sure what her future career will be, but hopes it will be fun and inspiring!

kaseyhanson

Kasey Hanson

Alfred University, New York

Major: Ceramic Engineering

Summer 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Kasey is a sophomore studying ceramic engineering. He enjoys surveying a wide range of scientific disciplines. In addition to volunteering for the MBC and Crustacea, Kasey works at his summer internship at the City of Hope. Kasey intends on pursuing a career in the sciences and traveling abroad as much as possible.

vijishook

Viji Shook

George Washington University, International Affairs, M.A., and University of Southern California, Economics and International Relations, B.A.

Summer 2010 – Summer 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Viji is taking a brief detour from the hectic road of life to explore careers in the natural sciences. She is currently volunteering at the Dino Lab in addition to the Marine Biodiversity Center, and has volunteered in the Insect Zoo as well. Her many interests include an advanced yoga practice, baking, gardening, hiking, biking, playing mahjong and traveling abroad. She recently came back from an exhilarating trip to Borneo and Brunei which included exploring the Mulu Bat Caves (see photo). Best experiences at the MBC — identifying unlabeled specimens and munching on yummy cinnamon toast.

shanilguanasekara

Shanil Guanasekara

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Major: Biomedical Engineering

Spring 2011: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Shanil is a senior studying Biomedical Engineering. He enjoys reading, cinema, independent music and soccer. He hopes to pursue a career in research, both in the USA and back home in Sri Lanka.

2010

janettehavens

Janette Havens

University of California, Berkeley (B.Sc.)

Major: Conservation and Resource Studies

Spring 2010 – Summer 2010: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Janette graduated from Cal with a B.S. in Conservation and Resource Studies. As an undergraduate she worked at the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology in the Ornithology and Herpetology Departments. She was also heavily involved in the biodiversity informatics project known as VertNET. She is currently working at Crystal Cove State Park in Laguna Beach as an Environmental Science Intern. Janette hopes to learn more about marine organisms while volunteering with the MBC and contribute to the curation of the extensive marine invertebrates collection. Her interests include hiking, horseback riding, bird watching and watching sports. GO BEARS!

2009

allisonchu

Allison Chu

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Major: Piano Performance and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention

Summer 2009 – Fall 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Allison is a junior, double-majoring in Piano Performance and Health Promotion and Disease Prevention. She enjoys ice-skating, hiking, and swimming, as well as arts and crafts, concerts and Pixar movies. She's a foodie in many senses, from baking, cooking to eating, and has a mild obsession with the TV series, How I Met Your Mother. Her incentive for volunteering at NHM is mainly due to her biology teacher, Professor Wetzer, whose enthusiasm and passion for her work sparked Allison's interest in the field of marine biology. She's not exactly definite on what her future profession will be, but hopes that it'll be enjoyable and with lots of fun people.

chasefemrite

Chase Femrite

University of Southern California, Los Angeles

Major: Biology and minor in Physics and Philosophy

Summer 2009 – Fall 2009: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Chase is majoring in Biology and minoring in Physics and Philosophy. His goal is to pursue a career in some aspect of biological research — his interests ranging everywhere from neuroscience to marine organisms. He is excited for the opportunity to further his knowledge and experience in marine biodiversity. In Spring 2010 he is planning on undertaking a research semester at the USC Wrigley Institute on Catalina Island.

2008

nataliebray

Natalie Bray

Lycée Français High School, Los Angeles, CA

Summer 2008: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Natalie will be a high school senior this Fall. She has worked at the Natural History Museum for the past four summers with the Adventures in Nature Summer Camp and is also volunteering for the MBPC. Natalie hopes to study marine biology in college and to work in museums around the world. She is broadly interested in coral reefs and creatures living in the abyss.

2007

paigejohnson

Paige Johnson

Occidental College, Los Angeles, CA

Spring 2007 – Fall 2007: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Paige is a senior philosophy major, but seeing as philosophers are in low demand, she is interested in pursuing a career in a Natural History Museum. She has broad interests, and enjoys arts and crafts, exploring the outdoors, animals (both alive and preserved in jars), horror films, formal logic and traveling. She also enjoys novels and films that are set in natural history museums and make them seem unrealistically dangerous and exciting. Paige has studied in England and dreams of moving there someday and working at the London Natural History Museum.

2006

erinostrander

Erin Ostrander

University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA

Major: Biology

Fall 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Erin is a senior in biology who enjoys running, hiking, sailing, and tae kwon do. Erin is interested in marine biology, which is what led her to the Natural History Museum. Erin volunteers for the MBPC to learn more about crustaceans and work on a research project for her marine biology class. She has learned about the organisms from the islands of Palau (Micronesia) through her work on recently collected invertebrates. Erin assists with collection work, associating specimen labels with the organisms, and incorporating them into the research collections.

michaelpecson

Michael Pecson

California State University, Long Beach, CA

Summer 2006 – Fall 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Michael, aka Pecson, is a self-taught biologist. He has logged countless hours watching the Discovery Channel with an emphasis on Animal Planet. As far as he can remember, he has always done well in his science classes and is a self-proclaimed cornucopia of knowledge and obscure facts. Michael hopes to one day become a full-time employee at the NHM.

elisabethwetzer

Elisabeth Wetzer

Bundesrealgymnasium Wien 14, Vienna, Austria

Major: Mathematics

Summer 2003: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2003: NSF Isopods volunteer

Summer 2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2004: NSF Isopods volunteer

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2005: NSF Isopods volunteer

Summer 2006: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Summer 2006: NSF Isopods volunteer

Elisabeth has a particularly strong interest in studying the natural sciences. Her interests there have led her to volunteer at the Museum to gain direct experience in science, discovering how biologists work by working with them. While working in the MBPC, Elisabeth has had the chance to learn that doing science, like many other endeavors, is 20% technical and 80% personal; people have far more to do with the working environment than the specifics of the work itself. Besides coffee races and lunches, Elisabeth spent most of her time sorting specimens from the Oregon State University Andrew Carey collection. She hopes to return soon.

2005

laraleitner

Lara Leitner

Milken Community High School, Los Angeles, CA

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Lara is a Senior. She enjoys gymnastics and dance and is fascinated by animal behavior. Lara volunteers for the MBPC to get hands on experience with preserved invertebrates. She hopes to become a zoologist in the near future.

chaselafrance

Chase LaFrance

Chadwick School, Palos Verdes, CA

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Chase is currently classifying and preserving polychaetes. He is interested in computers, chemistry, and genetics. Chase thinks that it is only a matter of time before places like “Jurassic Park” become a reality and extinct creatures’ DNA can be used to bring them back. Chase has no definite ideas what his major will be beyond high school, but it is apparent that it will somehow be science related.

erikaciriana

Erika Ciriano

Manual Arts High School, Los Angeles, CA

Summer 2005: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Erika is a Junior. She started volunteering in the MBPC because she heard it was a great experience, and she needed the service hours for school. It's a great help for science class!

2004

saramoore

Sara Moore

Santa Monica College, Santa Monica, CA

Summer 2004 – Fall 2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Sara is currently in her third year at Santa Monica College. She is a biology major with a strong interest in ecology and environmental science. She started volunteering in the MBPC because she wanted to experience biology firsthand and familiarize herself with some of the practical aspects of doing biology.

emiyoshimura

Emi Yoshimura

Stanford University, Stanford, CA (B.S. and M.S.)

Major: Biology

Spring 2004 – Fall 2004: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Emi has been working at the Museum for a little over a year in the Education Department. First she worked as a Gallery Interpreter, and presently her position is Outreach Instructor. In her spare time she volunteers for the MBPC as a way to familiarize herself with the Museum's vast and diverse research collections. Emi is sorting the Great Barrier Reef Expedition 2003 material.

2003

paolamorales

Paola Karen Morales

San Francisco Zan Morano, Guatemala City, Guatemala

Fall 2003: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Karen is a visiting student from Guatemala. She is spending her winter school break volunteering at the Museum to familiarize herself with the technical aspects of biology and to improve her English language skills. When not assisting with the curation of the Allan Hancock Foundation Sponge Collection, Karen was busy attending English classes. She plans to continue her education in the field of Bio-Medicine.

2002

jamesgrama

James Grama

Granada Hills High School, Northridge, CA

Summer 2002: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

James is interested in learning as much about the world as he possibly can. He is expanding his horizon this summer by helping with day to day activities in the Marine Biodiversity Center, while taking this opportunity to explore the backrooms of the museum and learn how the research endeavor is accomplished in the natural sciences and specifically in natural history museums. His goals include becoming a professional in a field related to history or science and to stay a life long learner. He will be a junior this Fall. His enthusiasm is contagious. His energy is boundless.

lindsaykeating

Lindsay Keating

Westridge School for Girls, Pasadena, CA

Summer 2002: Marine Biodiversity Center volunteer

Lindsay has been visiting the Museum with her father for years. Her strong interests in science and hands-on learning extend well beyond the classroom to our laboratory. She is donating her time and energy to help with a variety of curation tasks — some great fun — others just need doing. She is interested in exploring the many different subdisciplines of science as she begins evaluating possible career choices. As a freshman this Fall, she is looking forward to excelling academically, while preparing to go on to college and graduate school. Lindsay’s thoughtful and reflective nature are a prescription for success whatever her choices.